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First thank you all for posting. I tried to sleep yesterday and kept waking with panic attacks. Ever since the dx, I have felt sick, which may just be in my head, I don't know. Would help if I had a job but the Dr acted like that was out of the question. Still cant tell my daughter. I Have no parents and my brothers and I aren't close--ever since my dad died, it kind of broke up our family. The really bad thing is that I am separated from husband but not legally divorced. The social worker said that he will be responsible for my bills--is that correct? Shouldn't I let him know so he can divorce me? But she said that would be fraud. We lived apart for 5 years. I called a lawyer but have not heard back yet. Does anyone have any info about this?

Are there other on-line support groups just for Lung cancer? Do you guys ever chat in the chat rooms?

I am really having a hard time dealing with all my negative thoughts and what I went through last week.

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I'm very sorry you are having to deal with the emotional distress of possible divorce/separation issues on top of the diagnosis of cancer. This is, unfortunately, not all that uncommon for women who are diagnosed with any type of cancer. Which state do you live in? I do know that the courts tend to look unsympathetically towards those who attempt to divorce a spouse who is recently diagnosed with a serious illness.

And the social worker should not be making judgement statements about what constitutes fraud (she says as she makes a judgement statement about social workers :wink: )

Make an appointment with your attorney asap. If the one you telephoned doesn't return your call, call another one, preferably one who is sympathetic to women in your position...Check with the American Bar Association in your local community to see if there are any groups of attorneys committed to working with women who have been diagnosed with cancer.

Wishing you well and WELL, Elaine.

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I have no advice about the separation/divorce situation. But it sounds like you could use some support.

Remember we are all here for you.

Are you on any medication for anxiety? I know our doctor prescribed Mike some immediately. It's not an easy thing to be dx'd and you will need help!

Just want to send you a big cyber hug and tell you - Despair not....for we are here for you. I don't know if you believe in God but He too will never leave you or forsake you...even if you don't believe in Him, He believes in YOU!


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I understand only too well, Elaine. Only too well.

I was fortunate enough to have one good friend who helped me through the worst of the surgeries. I made sure I was legally separated from the ex before the diagnosis, so that intent shouldn't be the problem.

I thought about crawling under the bed, but then realized every second would be about 500 years long.... and that was no way to live. May as well get on with it.

It was for the kids that I fought as hard as I did. I wasn't finished here yet.

It was faith that kept me going. I said Hail Mary's over and over and over again. Also sat in the bubble bath and cried . But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, with God's help, and did what I had to do. Losing was not an option.

The other part of this is distraction -- good novels, rent good movies, go for walks , see if your church has a visiting program. Part of how you do with treatments depends on nutritional status as well as frame of mind, so eat well ( I used to find sirloin scraps on sale). Think about volunteering somewhere, perhaps the library, as long as you are strong enough .

And, when you fall into the black pit of despair, we'll help you crawl out again, and face the whole mess, and keep going. We have been on this roller coaster from hell, you are not alone.

Remember, you are loved, and you are part of our family..


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I don't know of ANYONE who as had the word "cancer" in their diagnosis react with "Ok ... no problem". All of us have gone through the fear and despair. And many of us has had "outside" issues to deal with at the same time.

What I'm saying here is that, though not easy by any stretch of the imagination, this CAN be dealt with.

Some thoughts:

On your doctor: Does your HMO allow you to request to change doctors? It seems to me what you DON'T need right now is a jackass doctor who, from your posts, doesn't seem to have a clue about how to deal with cancer patients. If your HMO refuses to allow you to change I'm almost positive it will have some kind of patient advocacy program. I have to use the Veteran's Medical Center and, when I had some problems with one of my docs I used their advocat and got the situation fixed REAL fast.

On your seperation: You're doing the right thing. Getting ahold of a lawyer is the way to go with this. The laws in a case like this can be pretty confusing and you could end up on the short end of the stick, or even get yourself in trouble, if you're not VERY sure what you are doing. If that lawyer doesn't call back take Fay's advice and get another one. Social Worker's are realy good at social work ... not at legal issues.

On family: That's a tough one. Every family is so different. Having said that: I told my daughter (26 years old) right away and have been completely open and honest with her ever since. It was tough but it turned out to be the right thing to do for us. But that's a situation you'll have to evaluate yourself.

Finally: Dealing with this is HARD. Period. But it CAN be dealt with. I'm a firm believer in two things. One is living my life one day at a time. The other is not trying to do this by myself.

Take care and stick close, ok?


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Thank you all for suggestions. I can't seem to think clearly at all. No I have no medications. I don't have prescription insurance and the Dr said he didn't have samples. But I called today and they are calling something in. I think I will also try melatonin--have any of you tried that?

I have also spent time looking for some herbal/non-traditional supplements to take, but it is all kind of confusing--so many different ones. It looks like garlic could be helpful along with the melatonin. And the teas etc.

I think of all of you and how strong you all seem to me. I feel very weak emotionally, but I do want you to know I am praying for all of you. I keep thinking this is all a bad dream and then I realize it is not and I panic.

Also I have been on prozac for over 8 years. I tried to get my HMO to approve me for counseling but they say I have to prove I have a biologically based mental illness.--in this case major depression. The woman said that it clearly states in my packet that getting counseling for help in dealing with a major illness is NOT covered. But I am saying I have suffered from depression my whole life so it should be covered.

This is all so crazy to me.

About my daughter--she was always on me to quit smoking so I know this will be devasting to her and she will be angry with me. Sure she loves me, but it will be hard on her in so many ways. My son too. I just feel so ashamed right now. Even though I know the odds of having lc under the age of 50 are rare and that the vast majority of smokers DO NOT get lc--I still took the risk and llike most things in my life, I got caught and will pay a high price--not jsut me but my wonderful children too. That's what hurts the most--what my children will go through.

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Okay now let's back up here for a minute. You have a disease. It came to you without you requesting it. Thousands of people get it without smoking. Millions of people smoke with some getting lung cancer and many others not. NO ONE absolutely NO ONE deserves lung cancer or any other kind of cancer. It is a monster that sneaks up on you without warning. Saying that you are ashamed makes it sound like you asked for it. YOU DID NOT ASK FOR IT. Lose the shame and guilt and prepare for the fight of your life. Do it knowing that you deserve to live and live without lung cancer. That is the first step that you need to take.

Now as for your children. You are their mother and from what you say they love you and show that they do. Yes they will be hurt and frightened but they will get over it. Give them the credit they deserve. This is not a fight to fight alone. You need everyone who loves you in your corner for support and to help with gathering information and many other things.

Tell your children that you know that smoking COULD be the reason for your cancer but that it is not certain and does not mean that you wanted it nor that you don't need them. Then direct them to this board. Maybe they can learn some things at the same time you do. Once again this is NOT your fault. God Bless you and help you in your fight and above all in your battle with yourself.

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I don't really have anything to add, although I do recommend looking at your diet. A good anti-cancer diet includes no sugar, no salt, little fat, mostly raw vegetables and fruit. There is loads of information online about good diets for cancer patients. My mum really feels it has made a difference for her.

I also want to encourage you to keep coming to this board for support and advice. The people here are wonderful and know just what you are going through.

All the best



Mother diagnosed with stage IV in August 2003

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I am in a similar situation (single Mom of young twin sons, no living relatives, apart from my husband for 5 years when diagnosed, but actually got divorce final last year). Another good support list is the ACOR list. www.acor.org and you sign up for the lung cancer (there's for non-small cell, small cell, etc. - you sign up for the one that applies). It's very active. Also, AOL has it's own lung support group. I forget how I got there though. If you can't find it, write back to me here and I will ask someone on the AOL board how you can join. Take care.

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